17 November 2018

Marie Stopes

Dr Marie Stopes is still a heroine of the sinister movement which spans Eugenics, 'Birth Control', and the Age of Abortion Victrix. It is hardly surprising that she was also anti-Semitic. I wonder if Hitler ever read the gushy letter she sent him in August 1939.

But I wonder how often she is admired as the homophobic bigot that she was.

Catholic moral teaching, of course, regards genital homosexual acts as intrinsically disordered. It enters a similarly negative judgement against contraceptive sex, even within Marriage. Not to mention  Masturbation and all those -philias. It has no specific bias against those belonging to either 'orientation', simply against whatever is contra Naturam. At its best, it is dispassionate, logical, and avoids ranting. It loves the person, however frequent his lapses, whatever it feels it has to say about the sin.

But there is something profoundly weird about the visceral horrors of Stopes. During the centenary year of the birth of the (homosexual) artist John Minton, an interesting exchange between the pair of them in the letter pages of the Listener has been attracting comment.

Writing about Oscar Wilde, Stopes talks of "the abnormal and filthy practices which he had been indulging with stable boys", and goes on "one only has to look at the portrait of the gross middle-aged abnormal man in his forties beside the exquisite body and face of the young man in the early twenties ..."

It's all here, isn't it: the class preoccupations ('stable boys') ... Ageism ... antifattyism ... the facility with which she sprinkles the word 'abnormal' around ... but, in addition, I think she reveals something rather amusing about her own comical sexual preoccupations ... poor frustrated old woman! Hardly surprising that Ruggles ... er ...

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